Sir, – A law against conflicts of interest is long overdue, by at
least 40 years (“PM withdraws request to change personal investments,” August
28). Had this been on the books we would have had fewer trials and less loss of
confidence in Israel’s leaders.
Such a law should be adopted as soon as
the Knesset resumes it sittings.
Illusions of grandeur
Sir, – According to your reporter, Shimon Peres said that “he could not
understand the stupidity of the ongoing rocket campaign and warned that if the
people in Gaza will continue in their attempts to destroy Israel, there will be
no choice but to retaliate and Israel will destroy them” (“Peres vows strong
repercussions if Hamas continues to fire rockets,” August 28).
understand the stupidity of constantly warning of repercussions when all we do
is continue with tit-for-tat rather than being proactive and wiping them out
before they can attack us. There is absolutely no incentive for Hamas to stop –
just as I can see a time when there will be no incentive for the IDF to put its
soldiers’ lives on the line to capture terrorists when at some point they will
be released in some ridiculous act of concession (“Peres commutes sentences of 7
prisoners,” News in Brief, August 28).
As he always has been, Peres is a
law unto himself and has been allowed to abuse his ceremonial role as president
for too long.
One cannot help but feel that his illusions of grandeur
lead him to believe that he can behave as though he were at the very least
foreign minister, if not prime minister.
Sir – The real question raised by “Rabbi arrested for vandalizing Hadera
religious girls school” (August 28) regards the morals that his yeshiva is
teaching its students.
Rabbis are supposed to set the moral standards for
This is another case of their failure to do
This action must be condemned by the political and religious
organizations of the country.
MICHAEL H. DAVIS
Sir, – With regard to “Migron residents petition HCJ to delay
evacuation” (August 28), the policy of destroying the Jewish presence in Judea,
Samaria, the Sinai and Gush Katif is notice to our enemies that we are led by
weak-minded and self-destructive incompetents. This is a sign to them that with
time we will disappear.
Leaders who advocate this bizarre policy are
clearly unfit for leading the Jewish people and the Jewish state. At the next
election, which is just around the corner, special effort must be made to
eliminate these individuals from Israel’s political scene. They and their
political parties must be treated as the serious threats to our future that they
In addition, the next Knesset must be relied upon to revamp the
process of selecting Israel’s judges, especially those sitting on the Supreme
Court. Candidates for the top court must be required to pass a rigorous
examination by a special Knesset committee, and legislation should be passed
barring the courts from interfering in Israel’s foreign policy.
Sir, – The caption of “Large-scale mitzva” (August
28), depicting an entrance to the Western Wall plaza and what is called the
world’s largest mezuza, seems to have a large number of errors.
mezuza is said to weigh 40 kg. This must refer to the mezuza holder; the mezuza
itself, the invisible essence, must be a scroll of parchment. The mezuza holder
is said to be made of bronze, although it is not proper to make one from a metal
that might become impure. The holder is seen to be fixed onto a footplate, but
according to Jewish law it must be connected directly to a vertical
We are then told that the mezuza should bring us luck and all
kinds of fortunes. A mezuza, however, is not a talisman, but rather a Jewish
religious command and symbol.
Judaism teaches that goodness comes only
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Words in his mouth
Reading Gershon Baskin’s draft letter (“Encountering Peace: What Abbas should
say to Israel,” Comment & Features, August 28), one doesn’t know whether to
laugh at the ludicrous assertions or cry that someone who claims in-depth
knowledge of the dispute would actually propose such a thing as
Baskin, writing as Abbas, begins by referring to “the historical
injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people... depriving them of their
right to self-determination, following upon UN General Assembly Resolution 181
(1947).” So it was an injustice inflicted by some unnamed third party that the
Palestinians and their Arab brothers rejected the partition plan and sought to
destroy Israel. It would be only “just” to return to the resolution that they
spurned for over four decades now that Israel is here to
Baskin/Abbas also observes: “In the absence of absolute justice, we
decided to adopt the path of relative justice” by agreeing to establish a state
on the “Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967.” The clear
implication is that absolute justice would be the return of all of Israel to the
Palestinians. It is only Palestinian magnanimity that allows Israel to exist –
at least for now.
Also according to Baskin/Abbas, the Palestinians
“adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of
terrorism in all its forms.” Then why does the Palestinian Authority continue to
name summer camps, government buildings and town squares after “martyrs” who had
the “courage” to murder Israeli children? Baskin/Abbas absurdly concludes: “We
go to the UN not to avoid negotiations, but to preserve the possibility of
negotiating in the future.” If the Palestinians’ ultimate goal is to obtain
their own state, then success at the UN would render any future negotiations
irrelevant and unnecessary.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – Highly
competent and renowned spokespeople like Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi and Sari
Nusseibeh must be surprised that Gershon Baskin, a Jewish Israeli, suggests
putting Palestinian words into his own voice when they themselves have long been
perfectly capable of speaking on their own behalf.
Path of least hatred
Sir, – Reader Yehuda Gellman (“Mormons and Jews,”
Letters, August 28) quotes an anti-Jewish passage from the Mormon bible from
which he concludes that US Jews should refrain from voting for Mitt Romney
unless he and the Mormon Church repudiate the “anti- Semitic attitude of their
If such a repudiation is demanded from Romney, how much
more so should it be demanded from Barack Obama, as well as from the church he
attended for many years and the Muslim imams under whom he studied as a
The truth is that both the Christian and Muslim holy books are
far more full of Jewhatred and incitement than the Mormon bible. What’s more,
unlike Christians and Muslims, Mormons have never persecuted Jews.
Jews need not fear that Romney would be hostile toward them because he was born
into a Mormon family. The exact opposite is more likely.